Prodrive produces the world’s lightest folding bike
22 September 2016
Prodrive has brought the Hummingbird lightweight folding bike concept to reality, refining the design and re-engineering key components.
The Hummingbird weighs just 6.7kg, making it the lightest folding bike in the world, thanks mainly to its carbon frame, carbon forks and seat post. The frame was designed and is being manufactured by Prodrive Composites in Milton Keynes with further parts production and final assembly carried out at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury.
Hummingbird has a novel and simple folding mechanism in which the trailing arm pivots around the crank. Unlike other folding bikes, this ensures the chain always remains in tension, even when fully folded. It also allows the bike to be wheeled along the ground when folded.
The bike was conceived by Petre Craciun, a London-based designer and keen cyclist. He found that existing folding bikes on the market were heavy and unattractive so decided to design his own.
“Most folding bikes are at least 12kg, which is a lot to carry up and down stairs or on and off trains,” said Craciun. “I wanted to design something really different, not only half the weight of existing folding bikes, but a product with distinctive styling that would be eye-catching, instantly recognisable and something people would be proud to be seen riding.”
Prodrive will produce the first test bikes in October with production bikes going on sale early next year.
David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, said “we are always looking for interesting and innovative projects where Prodrive can inject its technical and engineering expertise. Since I first met Petre last year and saw his concept it’s taken us about 12 months to bring it to fruition. The Hummingbird combines all the key attributes of style, innovation and technical excellence that Prodrive stands for and we’re very proud of the end result.”